Thought Leadership

The human factor. Thoughts and observations.

The life-blood of any organisation is its people; the success of every system, in every organisation is determined by human factors. We are seeking a deep understanding of these human factors; these are some of our thoughts and observations.

What are the 3 most costly liability claim issues in the Retail Sector? 

What are the 3 most costly liability claim issues in the Retail Sector? 

In todays Retail Environment risk needs to be managed proactively, and it is important to start with the biggest risks and prioritise activity to mitigate these risk factors to prevent incidents, accidents and consequential claims in your retail business. Here is a breakdown (based on a large retail sample) of the top risk factors leading to claims in the Irish Retail Sector in 2017:  


So what are the 3 most costly liability claim Risk Factors in the Irish Retail Sector today? The top 3 risks are: 

  • Slip, Trip & Fall 
  • Manual Handling/Moving 
  • Wrongful Arrest/Defamation

Slip, Trip & Fall: Slip, trip & fall (STF) incidents are consistently the most frequent and costly in terms of liability claims. The average public/employee liability claim in general is €26,000 approx. and STF is a leader year on year. There is a silver lining here however. STF incidents are positively correlated with poor housekeeping. So a quick way to reduce the risk of STF in your retail organisation is to improve housekeeping standards in both front & back of house. Encourage a ‘Clean As You Go’ mentality among your people.  

Manual Handling: Second to Slip, trip & fall in terms of frequency but often much more costly due to long-term damage – these incidents need careful management. It is critical that your staff understand how to lift and move objects correctly. Again, this can easily be provided through Manual Handling training courses… however word of warning, don’t simply rely on ‘online methods’ as the practical training is legally required. All staff (full & part-time) need this training and it is also legally required to be refreshed every 3 years! 

Wrongful Arrest: We have seen a rising trend in the frequency and cost of wrongful arrest (or defamation) claims in the retail sector. As we always say, certain members of the public often ‘have a plan’ (ie: try to have a staff member accuse them of shoplifting) upon entering your store… so what is your plan? There are key steps to take in order to minimize the risk of wrongful arrest, but the main theme is ‘If in doubt, let them out’. For practical training & certification contact SeaChange about our Wrongful Arrest Site Prevention (WASP™) programme.

*So don’t waste any more time and contact SeaChange for support in assessing and then managing the wrongful arrest/defamation risk(s) within your business.

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